A World Without Consequences

By Escriba

Rating: R

Genres: angst romance

Keywords:

This story has been read by 681 people.
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Summary: Trip and T’Pol have a conversation in the “Twilight” universe.

Disclaimer: Enterprise and its characters aren’t mine, they belong to Paramount, and I write this story without any profit. Sigh… This is worse than working for one’s family.

Rating: R, just to make sure.

Authors note: This isn’t a love story; this is a story about loss, sacrifice, and sorrow. It’s not a A/T story, but I admit it can look ambiguous.

Thanks: To justTrip'n, who was kind enough to edit this fic. I swear to God that if there's any loose ends, it's not her fault.



The moonlight makes her flesh glow. She looks like an ancient goddess or one of those fairies who enchanted drunk farmers on their way home.

Her eyes are open as she looks at the ceiling. There is no brightness in them.

She looks every inch as inhuman as she is.

“Aren’t you worried that he catches us here?” I ask.

“No. He is asleep. Besides, he wouldn’t remember it tomorrow anyway,” she replies, without gazing me, with the bitterest voice I’ve never heard on her. With the bitterest voice I’ve ever heard on a Vulcan.

I sit up and lean on the wall beside me. I feel very tired and not just because the physical exercise.

“You resent all this,” I accuse.

“Meaning?”

“You know what I mean.”

She lets a soft sound escape, like a sigh, and sits up. Naked and with that long hair falling at her face’s sides, she could pass as a human female, were it not been for the rebellious tips of her ears.

“This is pointless. What we did, we did, Captain.”

I snort.

“For God’s sake, T’Pol! We’ve just had sex. Can’t you call me Trip?

She looks at me, as mad as a soaked cat. God, she is beautiful.

“It would be inappropriate, Captain Tucker.”

I laugh against my will and cover my face with a hand. I put up with this because at the deepest level I like it and because she needs it. She needs to make love (or whatever she calls it) with somebody who remembers.

And every seven years she needs to have sex, period. Damn Vulcan physiology. I still have the scars from that last time. It had to be me, of course. Who else? Not the Cap’n. With his cyclic amnesia, it would have been too complicated. First, somebody would have to explain to him the situation. And it wouldn’t turn out right anyway, because the next day he would wake up without memories and the fright would be colossal. So, yeah, it was me. “Sex toy” Trip, at your service. Use me and toss me aside. What do I care?

But of course I do. After a whole week of making it like bunnies, I had to watch her telling the Cap’n the story about Earth’s destruction. I had to watch her taking care of him like a fricking wife. Can I hate him for this? Can I hate him when it isn’t his fault?

And it isn’t. I tell myself this, over and over again. It’s nobody’s fault.

“Feeling guilty about this serves no purpose.” She says with that calm tone I can’t stand.

“You lecturing me about guilt. You. That’s funny.” I answer, but I refuse to fix my eyes on her.

I hear her move slightly, the whisper of silk falling across her flesh.

“I know you think I’m taking care of Jonathan because I feel culpable for his injuries. But I assure you that isn’t the case. I’m just paying an honor debt.”

I press my tongue against one side of my mouth.

“Yeah, suuure,” I sigh.

She faces me with a sudden glow in her eyes. A reply dances on her lips. But she is as tired as me, so she ends up lying down again. Her naked body is outlined in the half-light, like an abstract shape inside a dream.

“Has he cried today?” I ask, because I feel vindictive.

There is a pause. Then…

“He always cries when he hears about Earth’s destruction.”

Her voice is detached.

“Does it make you feel any better?” I inquire. “To be the one to watch him suffer? To be the one to have to tell him over and over again the same story. To have to remember every step along the way?”

“It’s my obligation.”

“It’s your punishment.”

She lifts her head and looks at me. Even in the darkness I can see her distress.

“Because it’s your fault,” I go on. “The Cap’n lost his memory saving you. You charged against those Xindi ships. You rammed them. You destroyed one of the warp engines. You slowed us down. It’s your fault we didn’t get there in time. Earth’s destruction is your fault.”

T’Pol swallows. All her fire, that personality I loved to hate, is extinguished.

“That’s what you wanted me to say, right?” I ask. I feel as tense as a violin string. But, at the same time, I haven’t felt so alive in a long time. “You need me to fuel this guilt trip.”

All that I can sense is her laborious breathing. I stretch out to her, till my mouth and her mouth are at the same level.

“The truth is it’s not your fault.” I smile a sour smile. “Believe me, sometimes I wish it was. I try to blame you. I’ve even had dreams, you know? Nasty little dreams about how to punish you. But never this. I would never imagine something so cruel for you.”

“This isn’t more or less cruel than any other task,” She says after two quiet seconds. “It is just my obligation.”

“T’Pol—”

“Dwelling on the past actions is illogical.”

“Right, whatever you say. I’ve never met a woman as stubborn as you.”

“I don’t feel guilty.” She insists. “Guilt is an emotion, and Vulcans don’t have—”

“Don’t play with me.” I interrupt her. “After everything that’s happened, after everything we’ve lived through, you can’t expect me swallow that crap.”

She actually pouts.

“It’s time to let it go.” I tell her.

“Are you implying that I should leave Jonathan?”

It makes me cringe to hear her use his first name.

“No. What I’m trying to say is that you could share the burden with someone else. It isn’t your nontransferable responsibility.”

“All of you are in deep space; you have commissions.”

“There are like 6000 people on this planet.”

“Nobody knows Jonathan as well as I do; it would be… awkward.

“For whom?”

She doesn’t answer and looks away. I lean on my arm to put myself over her. Even if our bodies aren’t touching, I know she hates this.

“T’Pol, your sacrifice has been incredible. Your intentions are even noble, in a perverse sort of way. But believe me, it’s time to let it go.”

“Have you let Elizabeth go? Have you let your family go?”

I can’t believe this cheap shot coming from her!

“This isn’t about me.” I avoid the question.

“Have you?”

“Yes.” I answer while I feel every letter rasp my throat.

“Liar.”

“Think whatever you want. Suit yourself.” I bring my face near hers. “Unlike you, I’ve learnt something in all these years: you can’t change the past, you can only live with the consequences.”

“Do we, really?”

It’s a genuine question. Do we live with the consequences? She doesn’t, obviously. She shares her life with a man who can’t remember which clothes he wore 24 hours ago. She lives in an endless curl. She does and says and experiences the same things day after day.

And what about me? I’ve been promoted. I command the Enterprise. I fight against the Xindi. I have a life outside the Cap’n and T’Pol. Till she calls me and I come back and we make love and pretend it’s the last time. As we always do. As we always will. Over and over again.

She is looking at me, waiting an answer. I don’t have one. I’ll never have one. And I suspect she knows it. So I do what we do best: sidetracking. I bend down to kiss her. She moves her face away to prevent it, but she lets me explore her soft neck.

She never kisses me.

I clear my head and focus on her earlobe. Her skin smells of sand and of chamomile. She moans and pulls my hair in that fierce, possessive way of hers.

We get lost in ourselves again. Just for tonight. That’s always our promise: only one more time. And we’ll even keep that promise, at least for a while. Till we are overwhelmed in this chaotic world. A world created by a damn accident that befell a man who can’t remember it. We are stuck between a recurrent past and an unattainable future.

So, just for tonight, we pretend we are like the Cap’n and live in a world without consequences.


THE END


Comments:

Misplaced

So incredibly heartbreaking, but perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  Beautiful in its pain.  Well done.

Crystalswolf

This story made me tear up.  I could feel the hopelessness of their relationship yet there is something there, a very small piece, that draws them together every so often.  Absolutely beautiful.

Honeybee

Late to the party, but I must comment. Love this story. Twilight is such a sad episode, and you really capture the wrongness of the whole timeline. 

The Middleman

Excellent story, very well written. Thank you for putting a new spin on "Twilight", an episode that I truly despise. I had always thought that T'Pol, even with her dedication to Archer, would have followed through with her reationship with Trip, in some form or another. I thought it was fitting that you wrote their relationship as both hopeless and tragic in this time line, as humanity was gone and there was no hope in the known universe.

Linda
Hmmm, well I don't mind some stories taking a less than romantic viewpoint on the Trip/T'Pol relationship. Especially in alternate universes. Hey, the canon episodes about the Terran empire did it! We have lots of stories that are sweet and romantic about the Trip/T'Pol relationship and I love them. And I love happy endings - but every story I read does not have to have a happy ending. ;)
panyasan
Escriba, i always like to see new writers and you really have a talent for writing. But I have to agree with the comments made by Dinah, she put it my thinking into words better then I can do. And I am also looking forward for your stories.
Linda
I enjoyed this story! Just when I thought all the possibilities for stories based in the ENT series had been explored, someone comes up with a new idea! I like the images your phrases show: "mad as a soaked cat" and "naked body is outlined in the half-light, like an abstract shape inside a dream".:D
Dinah
Escriba, you've written a story that could be discussed and pondered for a long time. Good for you. That's great! As you know from my comments at ff.net, it's the hopelessness that really distresses me. In the "Twilight" world, their relationship has become strictly physical. There is no love; there doesn't even seem to be any real depth of feeling between them: T'Pol won't let him kiss her and she won't call him Trip. They point out each other's failings, hurting each other in the process. Just as Archer was crippled by the parasites, Trip and T'Pol seem to be crippled by adversity, guilt and hopelessness. They seem to be doomed to repeat their sexual encounters with no growth or fulfillment. Damn that's sad. :( I'm glad you posted this here. I'm looking forward to reading many more of your stories! ;)
Asso
I have read this story on FF NET, and I enjoyed it. Beautiful, beautiful! I'm happy you are with us.:p
Escriba
Thanks for all the reviews. I'm happy people liked it. The story really improved with justTrip'n's edition.
Alelou
Loved this on FF.net and I think it has only improved. You take that bitterness between them and expand on it in unexpected, beautiful ways. :)
Chris
Very nice Escriba. I hope you write again, either a sequal or a new story. This was well written.
Distracted
OMG. This is tragic, and very well written, especially for a non English speaker. I like your descriptions. Well done.
Reanok
Nice to see a story that takes place in the Twilight universe. This story shows how difficult it was for Trip & T'Pol to deal with the events in this story.

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